independant filmmaking

"The Hyphen Project" Trailer

Saturday is coming up quick, and I can hardly believe it! You can watch "The Hyphen Project" on CBC Ottawa Television this Saturday at 7pm ET. It will be playing as part of the Absolutely Ottawa series.

Producing something this big has been a first for me, and it definitely gave me an idea of what I will be facing when I return home this fall with all the footage of my roadtrip and the participants.

"The Hyphen Project" features what I've done so far and what my plans are for Hyphen. Here is a little sneak peek! 

A Long Overdue Update

Despite my radio silence over these past few months, I can assure you that Hyphen is still very much happening. After a lot of planning and talking, I am thrilled to see this project finally coming to fruition! 

2016 started out with a bang: 2 public appearances for Hyphen that helped get my documentary out in the community and give me the confidence to move forward. 

On February 2nd, I stood in front of a full room at Arts Court during a Soup Ottawa event, pitching to an eager audience for help in funding part of my project. Soup Ottawa is a micro-grant event where audience members pay $10, get a bowl of soup and a vote. They listen to 6 different pitches and get to vote for the local project they would like to fund. 

Despite not walking away with the prize, I felt an intense boost of confidence. I met several people who felt very strongly about the potential of my film and my vision as a filmmaker. I felt like I was giving a voice to those who had never been heard. 

The next week, I got to see the first part of Hyphen play alongside other local productions as part of SAW Video's RESOLUTIONS 2016. Seeing my film at the Bytowne Cinema was something very special. I can't wait to see the finished product on the big screen one day!

Those next few weeks were the most productive I have ever been. I can tell you now, I am an expert at cold-emailing. I revisited art projects, academic papers and articles that I had saved or published on and got in contact with their respective authors and producers. I was amazed by the sheer kindness of people who are so willing to help out a stranger. I feel like I've just tapped into a strong community of people who are so passionate about the subject of multiracial identity and who want to see this project come to life.

So far, I have 4 confirmed subjects outside of myself who live all around the country. Through our discussions, I have really started to shape the vision of what Hyphen will be. It will be a film about a journey. This summer (now that I've said it, I guess it's real...!) I will drive across Canada, documenting my journey of meeting these multiracial individuals. Hyphen will paint a new portrait of our country, one that is filled with colour, experience and fluid concepts of identity. 

Keep an eye for more details about the film and the participants.

I want to take a moment to thank you all again for your support and your patience. This is happening!




Join the Fundraiser Screening for Hyphen!

I was sitting with a friend a few weeks ago, reminiscing about some great moments from the past few months, and it occurred to me that I've been working on Hyphen for almost a year now! I feel terribly lucky to be where I am; always happy to wake up and get to work. Even if I am constantly challenged by this project, I'm learning to embrace the vulnerable place it has put me in. And this past week has been one to remember.

I am beyond thankful to have such amazing support from this community. Despite the difficulties I've faced trying to find funding for Hyphen, the discussions I've had with so many of you have proved to me that this film needs to be made, and I need to continue forward. 

My vision for Hyphen is to create a portrait of the Canadian hyphenated identity, told through a series of stories. I would like to travel the country to interview multiple families and get a sense of the multiracial experience in Canada. My personal connection to this subject has definitely been the driving force of this project. As a starting point, I wanted to look at my own experience and analyze my family's story. With the support of my parents, a patient mentor and the help from my wonderfully talented (and award-winning) friend Travis Boisvenue, I have managed to produce the first story for the film: my own. 

I am still in the process of editing this part, and it has been challenging to remove myself from the process (spending the day listening to my voice isn't something I would categorize as enjoyable). But it has really helped to hone in my process for this documentary. My goal to produce this part separately is to build a base for the project, get feedback from my peers, to get some visibility and to start funding the bigger project.

This is where I talk to you about the screening. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Nina from the Ottawa International Film Festival to make this screening happen. I am so excited to see my little idea become a reality in front of my peers, family and friends. The event will take place on May 30th at the Arts Court Library from 7pm to 11pm. The doors will open at 7pm, and guests will have a chance to get acquainted, have some drinks and snacks and participate in a few interactive activities (don't worry, I won't ask anyone to sing). The screening will start at 8pm, when guests will view, for the first time, the story of my family. After the screening, a special guest will facilitate a Q&A and discussion with me about the film. 

The entry for this screening is by donation, so you can pay what you can. However, if you donate $20 or more, you will receive a drink voucher for the evening. You can get more information and RSVP here. If you are unable to make the screening, please feel free to share the event and invite anyone who would be interested in joining! You can also share the Facebook event.  

I can't thank you enough for your support, and I look forward to seeing you all at the screening!

Hyphen in Gatineau

I have been busy planning the production of my newest film project: Hyphen, a documentary about cultural identity within multiracial families in Canada. Yesterday was a pretty important day: it was my very first shooting day!

My goal for this documentary is to create a collection of short stories featuring multiracial individuals; one of those individuals is me. I thought it was necessary for me to go through the interviewing and filming process before I could start including other stories. My close and talented friend Travis Boisvenue has kindly accepted to film my section of the documentary, as I didn't think using a selfie stick would have quite the same impact. So I brought him to my hometown of Gatineau for the day. We visited my childhood home where my mother still lives, and we cooked a delicious curry together.

Then we ventured around my neighbourhood, visiting my elementary school and local hang out spots. 

We also drove through downtown Gatineau and ended up at my high school in Hull. 

We ended the day in my current apartment in Chinatown, to have coffee with my roommate. 

It was definitely a strange day. I was thrilled to finally see my project become a reality, but being in front of the camera all day was something I wasn't so comfortable with. It really made me realize how vulnerable you are in these situations, and I hope to make my subjects feel at ease, like Travis was able to do for my mother and I.

 It was also a strange feeling to visit places I hadn't seen in years, bringing back the good and bad memories from those times in my life. But that's exactly what I'm looking for from this project. So I'm keeping the momentum of yesterday and planning to start my interview. I am only recording the audio from the interviews, to have more space to be creative with the visuals. I'm looking forward to what will come from my first interview: a conversation between my mother and I. 

I plan to keep updating you all on the process I take for this documentary, as I want this project to be open and flexible. Feel free to give me any feedback or thoughts you may have, I'd love to hear your ideas!